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Exclusive AARP Bulletin Poll Reveals New Trends in Multigenerational Housing
Date:3/3/2009

p>AARP's Tips for Managing Finances and Living in Multigenerational Households

  1. Prepare your home. Does your home work for everyone, young or old? Can your house accommodate someone who might find climbing stairs a challenge or who might need a walk-in shower or a single-handle faucet? www.aarp.org/homedesign has information to make your house safer and more comfortable for everyone.
  2. Prepare your family. Communication is the key to peaceful multigenerational living. Have regular family conferences to discuss issues before they become problems. Before moving in together, ask family members of all ages to talk about how they expect life to change, including what they want, what they are excited about and what they're nervous about. Be specific: If grandparents are helping with child care, how much time will they spend babysitting? How do family members want to handle cooking and mealtimes? It's a great way to see where friction may occur and to head it off at the pass.
  3. A place for everyone and everyone in their place. Decide how the living space in your home will be used. It's important that grandparents and grandchildren have their own places -- bedrooms, sitting rooms, or even corners of rooms -- for favorite chairs, places to watch TV, or study areas for homework.
  4. Let them live their own lives. This is important whether your parents are highly active and independent or if they are being cared for. Opportunities to see friends, continue activities they enjoy and having downtime are important at any age.
  5. Get in a groove. Consistency will help minimize the inevitable disruptions. Keep to routines such as mealtimes and bedtime rituals. Parents -- and grandparents -- should also plan one-on-one time with their children and time for themselves to keep up with the
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SOURCE AARP
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